board discusses theater, diplomas for vets
At the Oct. 10 Yellow Springs Board of Education meeting, school administrators
and board members expressed their appreciation for the YSHS and McKinney
School theater arts program and reviewed guidelines for student participation.
Having been in other places, I can say that the theater arts program
here is exceptional, Superintendent Tony Armocida said. It
blew me away from the start.
The large number of community members who attend high school plays attests
to the programs quality, several board members said.
An astonishing cross section of folks come to the plays, said
board member Mary Campbell-Zopf. Its a testimony to how much
the community values the program.
Last spring some parents expressed concern about the late hours put in
by students active in the plays, said YSHS John Gudgel. Gudgel said that
he, Armocida and theater director Marcia Nowik met in the spring to address
those concerns. As a result, they created new guidelines for students
involved in this falls play.
Information about rehearsal schedules, performances and other logistics
will be clarified at a mandatory meeting for parents to take place before
rehearsals begin, and the rehearsal schedule will be posted at the high
school, the guidelines state. No rehearsals will last beyond 10 p.m.,
and a curfew will also be imposed on the tech crew contingent upon the
availability of the Antioch Theater, where the play will take place.
Two adults will be required to be present at each rehearsal, according
to the guidelines, and parents will be given the opportunity to serve
Many of these guidelines were already in place last spring, said Nowik
and YSHS Theater Arts Association president Valerie Blackwell-Truitt.
Especially frustrating, said Blackwell-Truitt, was the groups unsuccessful
efforts to involve parents. Five meetings were held for parents throughout
the year, she said, but few parents showed up.
We did what we could, she said. Weve been making
* * *
In other school board business:
Treasurer Joy Kitzmiller presented the school districts five-year
According to the forecast, the district expects real estate tax revenue
to increase 5 percent because 2002 is an appraisal year in Greene County.
Personal property tax is projected to decrease by $190,000 due to the
upcoming closing of Vernay Laboratories Dayton Street plants.
The school income tax, which voters approved last year, is generating
close to the estimated amount, Kitzmiller said. She said she believes
the small shortfall in revenue is due to individuals planning
to pay their entire tax at the end of the year.
Open enrollment continues to provide a significant revenue source, said
Kitzmiller. This year the district expects to receive about $390,000 for
open enrollment students, who do not live in the district but attend local
Regarding expenditures, Kitzmiller said the forecast includes an automatic
step increase and a 4.5 percent raise in salaries for 2003 and a 4 percent
raise in 2004.
Recent heavy rainfall from Hurricanes Isadore and Lilli proved
problematic for the construction projects at Mills Lawn School, the McKinney
School and YSHS, said Armocida. The locker rooms at the high school were
especially affected, he said.
Theres always something in construction thats a hassle,
he said. For us its been water.
The board approved the second readings of policies regarding field
and other district-sponsored trips, student assessments, intervention
and appropriations and a spending plan. The board tabled policies on tax
budget preparation and relations with special interest groups.
By a vote of 32, the school board rejected a state-recommended policy
to offer high school diplomas to World War II veterans who left high school
to enter the service and never finished school. Board president Rich Bullock
and members Bill Firestone and Tom Haugsby voted against the measure;
Campbell-Zopf and Angela Wright voted for it.
Board members expressed concern about establishing a precedent of offering
unearned diplomas and about offering diplomas to WWII veterans but not
to conscientious objectors.
The board approved as substitute teachers, at $70 per day, Noel
Speece, Timothy Mullins, Marnie Neuman, Tracy Evans, Dorothy Drake, David
Willis and Robert Vaughn.
It also agreed to name Amy Huneck as the freshmen class advisor at a stipend
of $259; Pam Conine as a mentor teacher, $400; and Janet Miller as student
review board advisor, $259. The board agreed to name Helen Sparks as the
after-school tutor coordinator for the 20022003 school year, at
a stipend of $2,667. She was given a one-year limited contract.